God and Horrendous Suffering

I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each one of them in thirteen separate posts. [See Tag Below]

God and Horrendous Suffering is the last book I wrote/edited. It was the last one I procured a contract for, the last one I submitted chapters for, and the last one being shipped to buyers. It's published by the prestigious Global Center for Religious Research, whose President is Dr. Darren Slade. If you click on just one link to find out about the book and/or buy a copy click here to GCRR. It contains the Abstract, my Author Bio, a few key Reviews, and Dr. Slade's excellent 5th chapter, Failed to Death: Misotheism and Childhood Suffering. Most importantly, whether it's a hardcopy, a PDF, or a Kindle eBook, you won't be able to buy them for less anywhere else. [I like this as it takes away some power and money from Jeff Bezos.] Two other important links include an eight page paper by me introducing the problem of horrendous suffering, right here, plus the fantastic blurbs it has received so far.

Some of you have wondered when a paperback book will be available. It will probably be available sometime this next year. It will have all the typos corrected. It will contain an excellent new chapter by Dr. David Madison on World War I. It will also include a revised Introduction, and first chapter, and more. I'm also hoping for an audio edition, but about that I don't know.

I am extremely happy with the authors of this anthology and their chapters, as I am with all of the previous ones! Together we've made a difference. I could not have done this without them! I am deeply in their debt! If you hear anyone saying, "if you read two or three of Loftus's books then you don't need to read any others", send them here to these thirteen posts, Tagged below. Each one of them has a different focus, with different content, and in the case of my anthologies, different authors. There's an encyclopedia in them thar pages!

I'm thinking of a new order to the Contents, something like this:

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Stephen Law

Introduction, by John Loftus

Part 1 Prolegomena to Horrendous Suffering

1. John W. Loftus, In Defense of Hitchens’s Razor

Part 2 Concrete Examples of Horrendous Suffering

2. John W. Loftus, The Problem of Animal Suffering

3. Darren Slade, Failed to Death: Misotheism and Childhood Suffering

4. David Madison, World War I: Why Didn't It Put an End to Belief in God?

5. Vitaly Malkin, The Problem of the Jewish Holocaust

Part 3 The Abject Failure of Theodicies

6. William Patterson, A Rawlsian Approach to Theodicy

7. John Loftus, The Abject Failure of the God of Creation, Revelation, and Redemption

8. N.N. Trakakis, Swinburne vs Swinburne

9. John Loftus, On Making Excuses for God

10. Robert Price, Theodicy: The Idiocy

11. David Kyle Johnson, Refuting Skeptical Theism

Part 3 Theological and Political Issues

12. John Loftus, The Awful Controlling Damning Lying Calvinist God

13. Gunther Laird, Dissolving the Thomistic Solution to Evil

14. William A. Zingrone, Suffering Caused By Faith

15. Elicka Peterson Sparks, Christian Nationalism is Criminogenic

16. Michael Paulkovich, The Ascent and Reign of the Christian Behemoth

Part 4 Religious Issues

17. David Eller, Pious Pain: Self-Harm as Religious Work and Religious Good

18. Mark Gura, On Falsifying Buddhism, Karma and Rebirth

19. Taner Edis, Doubt and Submission: Why Evil is a Minor Problem for Islam

Part 5 Biblical and Personal Issues

20. Dan Barker, Supernatural Evil

21. David Madison, Bible Horror Tales That’ll Chill You To the Bone

22. David Madison, The Bible Fails to Make Sense of Human Suffering

23. Dale W. O’Neal, The Making and Unmaking of a Christian Zealot

Book Title: My original suggested title was The Incompatibility of God and Horrendous Suffering. My publisher thought if we drop the first three words it might leave the reader wondering what we conclude, at least on first sight. As a result it would get their attention!

Book Cover: You can see me holding the hardback book above, but there were two other covers to choose from. The blue cover will probably be used for the paperback.

Authors & Chapters: It was a pleasant surprise that Darren accepted my book proposal before I had many authors and specific chapters. He did so based on the quality of my earlier books along with several quality chapters. That was nice! He offered the possibility for a call for papers, but I didn't need it.

Darren Slade: Dr. Slade is my friend and publisher. He was an absolute joy to work with and an expert at what he does. His chapter is the longest one in the book at about 16k words, or two chapters worth!

Vitaly Malkin: Malkin gave me permission to choose an excerpt from his excellent book, Dangerous Illusions for his chapter, The Problem of the Jewish Holocaust. So I did, making a few edits along the way. But when it came to finding the references for his quotes from his bibliography he didn't help at all. I did my best on them, even if it meant quoting from Wikipedia (sorry).

Mark Gura: My friend Mark can speak really well at events! From what I knew before I read the first drafts of his chapter, "On Falsifying Buddhism, Karma and Rebirth", he could also write really well! But you wouldn't know it from what I saw. He tried to cram way too much information into one chapter. He went through four different versions until he had it up to 12k words, and asked for more! I know that problem very well. What you'll find in the end result is his content filtered through my edits, as I selected from, re-arranged, and even re-wrote parts of his chapter for clarity, with his consent. It ended up at 7,775 words. I didn't add enough to be a co-author, but the time it took was the same as if I was. Together we made it into a wonderful piece! He has a book in him and I hope he writes it!

Gunther Laird: At the very last minute readers of this blog prodded me to have a chapter on the Thomistic solution to evil, with a critical eye on Catholic apologist Edward Feser's defense of it. Darren's knee-jerk reaction wasn't favorable in allowing it, but he turned right around and did so graciously. Gunther Laird obliged with his chapter. I'm happy about this, although it was surely the reason why the book came out about a month late.

Elicka Peterson Sparks: Sparks didn't have the time to choose an excerpt out of her book, The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime, for publication. So I summarized her book in an excerpt of 8,000 words. See if you can do that with a book of her size! There are no footnotes in her chapter because one third of her book is in the footnotes! If I included the footnotes it would greatly enlarge her excerpt. You'll have to buy her book to get them, and I recommend you do. Later she copyedited and approved my excerpt. As an aside, I found her an excellent opening quote from Thomas Paine: “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.”

William A. Zingrone: When William first submitted a draft it was a bit lackluster and dispassionate, unbecoming of the flare and passion I saw in his previous writings. When I asked about this he thought this is what GCRR guideines required when it said the chapters should be scholarly. I told him he could basically ignore those guidelines if needed, saying he could still write scholarly material with flare and passion, and he did! You can see it in his excellent chapter, The Suffering Caused by Faith.

I helped Michael Paulkovich with his fine chapter, by offering him some content at the beginning, with some other suggestions. It's always nice when your authors respect you as an editor enough to accept your suggestions.

Yes, folks, this is what it takes to be a good editor. I put this book together, dealt with the authors, the publisher, wrote the Introduction plus five chapters, and am promoting it. Doing an anthology of freshly written chapters is one of the most time consuming projects someone can do. This is the seventh time I did it! I've done enough for one person.


John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 13 critically acclaimed books.

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